Special Report: Walkable Streets

Pedestrian Crossing Coming to Main and Pearl

Traffic lights have been installed and await inspection for a new signalized pedestrian crosswalk on Main Street at Pearl Street.

By Ryan McGreal
Published October 23, 2013

City workers have installed traffic lights on Main Street West at Pearl Street to provide a safe pedestrian crossing on Main between Locke Street and Queen Street.

New traffic lights on Main at Pearl
New traffic lights on Main at Pearl

The traffic lights have not yet been activated. According to David Ferguson, the city's new Superintendent of Traffic Engineering, the city needs to wait until the lights have been inspected by an electrician before activating them.

Once operational, the traffic lights will be on a schedule, synchronized with the 'green wave' on Main Street.

This pedestrian crossing parallels a similar crossing on King Street at Pearl that was installed in 2011 and helps establish a north-south active transportation route between the north end of Strathcona and the radial trail at the south end of Kirkendall.

Potential Greenway

Jason Leach has proposed making this north-south route a neighbourhood greenway - a residential street where cyclists and pedestrians are given priority above cars.

Neighbourhood greenways are marked with signage, bicycle stencils and sharrows, while speed bumps and diverters are used to discourage cut-through driving while encouraging walking and cycling.

A neighbourhood greenway could start on Magill Street at Barton and progress south to York Boulevard. Crossing York, it could continue on Pearl Street, take advantage of the new crossings at King and Main and continue south on Pearl to the HAAA Park.

At Charlton Avenue it could continue south on Kent Street to cross Aberdeen at the pedestrian-activated crosswalk there and continue south on Kent to Glenfern, then on to Mountain Avenue and the Hamilton-Brantford Radial Trail.

Eventually, when a pedestrian walkway is built connecting the north end of Strathcona neighbourhood to the waterfront trail (a project that has been in the works for years), the Magill/Pearl/Kent greenway could directly and continuously connect the Radial Trail to the Waterfront Trail.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan wrote a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. His articles have also been published in The Walrus, HuffPost and Behind the Numbers. He maintains a personal website, has been known to share passing thoughts on Twitter and Facebook, and posts the occasional cat photo on Instagram.


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By hshields (registered) - website | Posted October 24, 2013 at 10:44:50

The greenway strategy makes complete sense. A north-south greenway would connect the Radial trail to the feeder neighbourhoods, reinforce community health and provide an additional feeder system for planned and existing transit lanes going east-west. How long before a bridge to the waterfront? With discretionary funds allocated to this project I assume that could take 10+ years unless the City realizes how dedicated the ward is to that infrastructure and just goes ahead and builds it. Creating a greenway will strengthen the demand for that access point to the waterfront.

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By SGTROCK (anonymous) | Posted October 24, 2013 at 12:54:21


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By PearlStreet (registered) | Posted October 25, 2013 at 00:28:00

I love between King and Main, on Pearl. What a wonderful enhancement to connecting those walking into Victoria Park and around the area of Locke St. I don't live on an island anymore! Thank you Hamilton!

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